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A Newsletter by Compass Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Palm Beach County @CompassCenter



Fall 2015 Winter 2014Issue Issue

MEMBERSHIP SUPPORTS COMPASS’ PROGRAMS AND SERVICES I’d like to personally thank you for your continued support of Compass Community Center. 2015 has been a historical year for the LGBT community, locally and nationally. We find ourselves in unprecedented times. I, too, was overjoyed when marriage equality spread across our Nation. As we celebrate this achievement, we must not forget the diverse needs of our community. I was born and raised in Palm Beach County. I started volunteering for Compass in 2000 and have been on the Board of Trustees since 2003. I’ve been an educator in Palm Beach County Schools for more than two decades, and I’ve seen first-hand the degree to which young people need to feel safe and respected in order to succeed academically. I spoke before the School Board on this topic as both a former bullied student and as a current educator. School district policies were amended, but trust me, there is still much work to be done.

• LGBT youth are still bullied out of schools and turned away from their homes. • LGBT people still contract HIV at disproportionate rates. • Transgender individuals still continue to experience discrimination and acts of violence every day. Compass serves approximately 50,000 people annually with a small staff of 20 and a team of dedicated volunteers. Compass provides support, education, and empowerment programming for LGBT youth, adults, families, and people living with HIV. Compass hosts more than 20 social and support groups, community education workshops, and community outreach events like World AIDS Day, PrideFest of the Palm Beaches, Stonewall Ball,

Michael Woods at PrideFest of the Palm Beaches, Photo courtesy of MW.


Compass aims to diminish stereotypes by challenging long-standing misconceptions about the character of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. We accomplish this by emboldening our youth, promoting pride in our community, and acting as an educator, advocate, health service provider, and focal point for community organizing.


and Equality Prom. Compass also hosts the Pride Business Alliance, its monthly networking mixers, and the annual Business Expo. Today, Compass is the leader in HIV Prevention in Palm Beach County, testing thousands of people each year, and linking them to life-saving care and resources. None of this would be possible without private contributions from community members like you. Your membership allows Compass to provide the high quality programs our community wants and needs. Please join me in making an annual contribution to Compass so we may continue to provide life-saving resources, and support our thriving community in this pivotal moment in history. The teacher in me reminds you that we can all do better. The Board Member in me thanks you for joining us in the fight.

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TRANSGENDER DAY OF An article you should REMEMBRANCE read!

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Sincerely, J. Michael Woods, M.Ed. Treasurer, Board of Trustees

www.CompassGLCC.com | 561.533.9699

EXTRAORDINARY CHARITIES HIGHLIGHTS COMPASS Extraordinary Charities selected Compass as one of the Extraordinary Charities in Palm Beach County and will be featured in the 2016 Directory for Charitable Giving, unveiling this November. Founded by Beverlee Miller Raymond and her husband, John Raymond, Extraordinary Charities is a Palm Beach based nonprofit organization devoted to raising awareness of Palm Beach County charities who perform exceptional work. The Directory is an informative resource for anyone who wants to support organizations that are building a stronger, more cohesive community. Now on its 4th annual publication, the 2016 Directory for Charitable Giving is distributed to thousands of high networth individuals, small foundations, philanthropic advisors and others who wish to be more knowledgeable when making contributions with assurance that their gifts will have a significant positive impact. “We are honored to be part of the Directory for Charitable Giving this year”, said Tony Plakas, Compass’ CEO, “Private contributions enhance Compass’ funded programs by providing financial resources held outside of the scope of our funded, direct service programs.” To learn more about Extraordinary Charities, visit www.extraordinary-charities.org

Extraordinary Charities founder, Beverlee Miller with Compass’ CEO Tony Plakas and Chief of Staff, Ryanmarie Rice

SFGN READERS VOTE COMPASS BEST NON PROFIT Compass is honored and thrilled to be voted Best Non-Profit in Palm Beach County by the readers of the South Florida Gay News. More than twenty-seven years ago, a small group of dedicated volunteers founded Compass in an effort to educate, connect, and serve the LGBT community. The commitment to Compass’ mission, not only by the staff and board of trustees, but by our volunteers, motivates Compass to better serve our community, year after year. Compass’ PrideFest of the Palm Beaches was also named Best LGBT Event of the Year. Our very own Julie Seaver was named LGBT Activist of the Year. We could not be more proud of our team or more grateful to the community who voted in SFGN’s Best of 2015 competition!

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COMPASS IS CERTIFIED FOR EXCELLENCE Compass is Certified for Excellence in Nonprofit Management for the tenth consecutive year, by Nonprofits First®. The Certification process requires agencies to meet or exceed over 875 standards including nonprofit administration, board governance, finance, strategic planning, risk management, charitable solicitation, human resources, and volunteer management. Certification stands to reassure community members and stakeholders in Compass’ demonstrated accountability, sustainability, and commitment to excellence.




COMPASS PRIORITIZES WOMEN’S HEALTH Compass hosted the inaugural Women’s Health Conference for Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender women in Palm Beach County on Saturday, November 7, 2015. Lesbian and Bisexual women, specifically, are at increased risk for developing some cancers, including breast and ovarian cancers, and are statistically less likely to get routine health screenings. This conference was designed to address the unique and diverse needs of women in our community. “More often than not, women lean toward the caregiver role, putting the needs of their loved ones before their own,” said Tony Plakas, Compass’ CEO, “We want LBT women to join us in this initiative to prioritize women’s health.” The conference, sponsored by Empty Closet Women’s Theater, offered a full day of breakout sessions, health & wellness vendors, a networking lunch, and dynamic keynote address by Lillian Tamayo, CEO of Planned Parenthood of South, East, and North Florida. Breakout sessions included Nutrition, Healthy Relationships, Sex, Meditation 101, Breast Health, Natural Path: Symptomless Menopause, Hormone Replacement Therapy, and Technology & Your Health. “I used to say that in order to balance the stresses of work and family, I make sure to check myself off my to-do list first,” Ryanmarie Rice, Compass’ Chief of Staff explained during opening remarks, “But somewhere along the line, the to-do list got too long and I stopped prioritizing myself. Today, I ask you to join me in prioritizing our health. Put yourself back on your to-do list.” More than 150 women attended the inaugural conference, making the commitment to put their own health back on their to-do lists.

For more information about the Women’s Health Initiative, contact compass@compassglcc.com. For information about the Empty Closet Women’s Theater, visit: http://www.emptyclosetwomenstheater.com/

Women’s Health Conference: Let’s Talk About Sex presentation by Planned Parenthood of South, East, and North Florida , Photo courtesy of Adrienne Percival

Women’s Health Conference: Nutrition Presentation by Health Coach, Daryl Hall, Photo courtesy of Adrienne Percival

Women’s Health Conference: Health & Wellness Vendor Lounge, Photo courtesy of Adrienne Percival

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COMPASS REACHES TEENS COUNTYWIDE Amanda Canete, Youth Program Coordinator As we head into Compass’ 4th year facilitating Wyman’s Teen Outreach Program® (TOP®), it is important to reflect on all that has been accomplished. Wyman was founded in 1898 in St. Louis, Missouri with the original purpose of providing children in sweltering residences with fresh air, nutritional food, and outdoor activities. The Teen Outreach Program® is an evidencebased curriculum that empowers teens with the tools and opportunities needed to avoid risky behaviors and become leaders with a powerful vision for their future. TOP has the ability to inspire community-level change through community service learning opportunities and dramatically reduce teen pregnancy and high school dropout rates. The teens of Compass’ Teen Outreach Program® have completed over 500 community service hours this past year that directly affected the local community. One of the biggest impacts that TOP delivers is providing a variety of opportunities to not

only the teens that come to Compass but, the teens that are in TOP clubs at their middle and high schools. Through our partnership with Wyman and Planned Parenthood of South, East and North Florida, Compass provides youth empowerment programming within Palm Beach County Schools to students who otherwise would not have access to Compass or our services. Having the capability to go into public schools and cultivate a sense of community, leadership, equality, and compassion is something we only dreamt about 24 years ago when Compass first received funding to provide services to LGBT youth and families. I have seen TOP clubs make a significant impact on many young people’s lives and am excited for the next generation of future leaders. For more information about Compass’ Youth Program, contact youth@compassglcc.com


Compass Staff with MCC of the Palm Beaches Bill Meissner Food Pantry volunteers Photo Courtesy of Wanesco Images

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Compass’ Pride Business Alliance November mixer took place at the National Croquet Center in West Palm Beach on Wednesday, November 18, 2015. Compass hosts a traveling business mixer as part of its Pride Business Alliance, each month. The Pride Business Alliance, formed in 2005, was founded with the initial goal of providing the community with a safe directory of LGBT-owned and LGBT-friendly businesses and resources. All are welcome to attend the monthly mixers to connect with other like-minded businesses and professionals. Nearly 200 people attended the November mixer, which took place at the worldrenowned National Croquet Center in West Palm Beach. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, Compass’ Pride Business Alliance hosted a food drive to benefit the Bill Meissner Food Pantry at the Metropolitan Community Church of the Palm Beaches (MCCPB). Each month, the MCC of the Palm Beaches’ Bill Meissner Food Pantry feeds 1,500 people in need. “Compass’ Pride Business Alliance members brought dozens and dozens of bags of food - enough to fill 2 cars heading to the Bill Meissner food pantry at MCC of the Palm Beaches,” Adrienne Percival, Compass’ Business Development Associate noted, “We’re proud to engage our Pride Business Alliance members in supporting this tremendous resource to the community in Palm Beach County.” For more information about Compass Community Center or the Pride Business Alliance, visit www.compassglcc.com or email Adrienne@compassglcc.com

YOUTH MEMBER LEADS FOOD DRIVE TO BENEFIT COMMUNITY MEMBERS IN NEED Compass Youth Group Member, Jacob, organized a Thanksgiving food drive to benefit Compass community members in need. Jacob joined efforts with the Student Government Association at Worthington High School in West Palm Beach to collect canned foods and non-perishable items to donate to families in need. “I’ve been going to Youth Group at Compass for 4 years and I love volunteering at the front desk. I’m happy to give back in any way I can, especially around Thanksgiving!” - Jacob M.

WORLD AIDS DAY: A Day With(Out) Art and Unveil World AIDS Day, observed on December 1st each year, is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day, held for the first time in 1988. Compass commemorates World AIDS Day, year after year, inviting community members into our center for two weeks of events surrounding the NAMES Project Foundation AIDS Memorial Quilt which will be on display December 1-11. This year, Compass is partnering with Palm Beach Opera, Voices of Pride, and the local arts community to commemorate World AIDS Day beginning with A Day With(Out) Art. On December 1st, Compass will host “A Day With(out) Art”, inviting local artists, galleries, and museum to shroud works of art with black cloth. The shrouding of art is intended to bring awareness of the impact of HIV/AIDS on the arts community and promoting awareness of healthy practices and lifesaving resources. Local artists have submitted pieces to be displayed and shrouded in Compass’ Grand Hall during the World AIDS Day candlelight service on December 1st. Rolando


Chang Barrero, local artist and activist of Activista Artista, spearheaded this project and volunteered his time to curate this breathtaking group exhibition. On December 2nd, we will celebrate life with the Unveil: The Stigma, The Truth, The Art Reception and grand opening ceremony for the AIDS Memorial Quilt at Compass Community Center. The reception will include poignant works of art on display, opening ceremony for the AIDS Memorial Quilt, and a live performance by Palm Beach Opera. Sections of the internationally celebrated AIDS Memorial Quilt – the 54-ton, handmade tapestry that stands as a memorial to more than 94,000 individuals lost to AIDS – will be on display from December 1, 2015 - December 11, 2015. Compass hosts the largest display of the AIDS Memorial Quilt in the state of Florida in observance of World AIDS Day each year.

For more information on the upcoming World AIDS Day events, contact Lorenzo@ compassglcc.com.



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Rodrigo Mendez performing at the open mic, Velvet Lenore emceeing; Photo courtesy of Wanesco Images

TRANSGENDER DAY OF REMEMBRANCE Palm Beach Opera performing with Compass Youth, Photo courtesy of Wanesco Images

Ryanmarie Rice, Chief of Staff Transcendence, Compass’ Transgender Youth Group, invited Palm Beach County Gender Support to commemorate Transgender Day of Remembrance, observed annually on November 20, 2015. The evening included a candlelight vigil and calling of the names of the 22+ Transgender individuals who were murdered in acts of antitransgender violence in the last year alone. Following a moment of silence, Jamie of Transcendence Youth Group joined Palm Beach Opera in a moving performance from the opera, As One, written by Kimberly Reed and Mark Campbell. The piece, “Out of Nowhere”, explores personal and global violence against Transgender individuals. Emcee, Velvet Lenore, opened the stage for poetry, storytelling, music, empowerment, and healing. It was a powerful evening, attended by more than 100 Trans community members and their allies. “Love yourself. The most important relationship you’ll ever have is with yourself. If you have that, nothing else matters,” Velvet urged the crowd, inspiring once-bystanders to take the stage and share their truth. PBC Gender Support performing a play by Mildred Smith; Photo courtesy of Wanesco Images.

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SCHOOL DISTRICT PROCLAIMS OCTOBER LGBT HISTORY MONTH Photo courtesy of the Palm Beach County School District

For the third consecutive year, Compass Youth received the School District’s Proclamation of LGBT History Month on October 21, 2015. While it was a great honor for the youth to receive the proclamation, they look forward to continued progress in improving school climate for LGBTQ students. The School District’s proclamation validates that Palm Beach County supports Compass and LGBT youth. On behalf of the community, we extend our appreciation to the School District of Palm Beach County.

Photo courtesy of Jackie Garetano

Compass Youth, Jacob thanks the School Board of Palm Beach County: “Your recognition of LGBT History Month sends the message to students that we don’t have to be divided by gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or social class. This ties us together as one. Thank you.” Photo courtesy of Jackie Garetano

Live Performance by Palm Beach Opera Unveiling of group exhibition and opening for the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt Compass Community Center 201 N. Dixie Highway Lake Worth, FL 33460 compass@compassglcc.com

Compass Youth, Mariah Rivera, addresses the School Board, stating, “Education regarding LGBT issues and history is still severely lacking in today’s school curriculum. People like Karl Heinrich Ulrich, Edith Windsor, and Laverne Cox deserve a place in our textbooks.”







Group exhibition curated by Rolando Chang Barrero

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CASE MANAGEMENT TEAM INDUCTS NEW PANEL TO AIDS MEMORIAL QUILT On World AIDS Day, Compass’ Case Management team will induct a new panel to the AIDS Memorial Quilt to honor and commemorate community members who have died in the last year. The Case Management team formed a committee of staff and community members who have been working on the handmade quilt panel since October. The induction ceremony will take place on December 1st at Compass Community Center during the World AIDS Day, A Day With(Out) Art ceremony, 6:30-8:00pm. Established in 1987, The AIDS Memorial Quilt is composed of more than 48,000 individual 3 x 6 foot panels, each one commemorating the life of someone who has died of AIDS. These panels come from every state in the nation, every corner of the globe and they have been sewn by hundreds of thousands of friends, lovers and family members into this epic memorial, the largest piece of ongoing community art in the world. By revealing the humanity behind the statistics, the AIDS Memorial Quilt helps teach compassion, triumphs over taboo, stigma and phobia; and inspires individuals to take direct responsibility for their own well-being and that of their family, friends and community.

For more information about Case Management at Compass, visit: http://www.compassglcc.com




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COMPASS’ YOUTH MENTOR PROGRAM EMBRACES THE ARTS Katherine Murphy, Center Programming Coordinator The Compass Mentor Program launched a new year of programming in October and will continue an Arts and Culture focus—providing teens with the opportunity to experience local shows and exhibits. We maintain a partnership with the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the PEAK Program, and will attend four of their fantastic shows this season. We have a special relationship with Palm Beach Opera for Rehearsal 101 and Opera OUT Loud. Launched in March 2015, Opera OUT Loud explores operatic works that highlight LGBTQ themes and issues, and celebrates contributions to opera made by LGBTQ individuals and affirming companies. Opera Out Loud came to fruition after Compass’ Mentor Program attended a field trip to Palm Beach Opera’s Rehearsal 101. During a discussion with Dr. Jourdan Laine Howell, Education and Community Engagement Manager for Palm Beach Opera, one of the youth noted that the piece was heteronormative and, thus, hard to relate to. This comment inspired Dr. Howell to launch a pilot project with Compass’ Youth Mentor Program - a project which has gained national recognition. Opera OUT Loud was featured in the most recent edition of Opera America Magazine. Dr. Jourdan Laine Howell, had this to say: “You connect people to opera by finding stories that are accessible, relatable, and personal...and you keep them engaged by giving them a sense of ownership over their own experience.”

Compass Youth, Photo courtesy of Opera Out Loud

When the group read “As One” by Kimberly Reed and Mark Campbell they were touched by a particular aria, “Out of Nowhere” as it explores personal and global violence against transgender individuals. Through Dr. Howell the youth were able to connect with Ms. Reed and received a personal letter from her: “Mark and I would be honored to know that studying a piece we created played even a small part in each of you reaching your ideal. Thank you for paying such close attention to our work” The aim of the Compass Mentor Program is to embolden our youth, to help develop their sense of belonging, promote pride, and show them the many opportunities that await them in college and the professional world. In addition to our arts and culture programming, tutors mentor teens after school at the Compass Youth Drop-In Center. Compass Youth, Photo courtesy of Opera Out Loud

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We are currently accepting applications for local professionals to become mentors. For more information, email katherine@compassglcc.com.

GROUPS AND ACTIVITIES AT COMPASS BOOK CLUB - This social group is dedicated on discussing books relating to gratitude. Meets every Wednesday at 6:30 pm. BROTHASSPEAK - This discussion group is dedicated to issues for and about black gay men. Meets every Wednesday at 7 pm.

Are you a member of Compass? There are a ton of member perks and 8 different levels of membership. Your annual membership contributions help Compass provide much needed services to diverse clientele throughout Palm Beach County.

For more information about membership, visit www.compassglcc.com

COMING OUT - All ages coming out support group. Meets every Thursday at 6:30 pm. M-BOYZ OF ENTOURAGE - Join the movers and shakers of Entourage (ages 18 to 29). Meets every Friday at 5 pm PBC GENDER SUPPORT - All ages support group dedicated for transgender individuals. Meets 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month at 7 pm. PFLAG - Parents, families and friends of lesbian and gays. Meets the second Wednesday of the month at 5 pm. POSITIVE CONNECTION - Group for and about HIV+ Men. Meets every Tuesday at 6:30pm. An opportunity for men to get together, learn and support each other. Closed group, please call 561-324-1626. QUEER ALTERNATIVES - Social group for all LGBTQ ages 18 to 29. Meets every Friday at 5 pm. For more information and outings information email ernie@compassglcc.com. TRANS YOUTH GROUP - This support group is for transgender youth ages 12 - 19 years old. Meets 1st & 3rd Friday of every month at 5 pm. For more details contact Katherine Murphy at katherine@compassglcc.com YOUTH GROUP - This Social and Support Group is dedicated for LGBTQ youth ages 12-18 years old. Meets every Wednesday and Friday at 5 pm. FTM SUPPORT GROUP - This support group focuses on the needs of the FTM Transgender community and meets every 2st and 3rd Monday of the month.










CANDLELIGHT VIGIL AND CALLING OF THE NAMES TO COMMEMORATE Community Center Hours Monday - Thursday 10 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. Fridays 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturdays 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.





HIV TESTING HOURS AT COMPASS Mondays & Thursdays 4 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays 1 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Hepatitis A & B Vaccinations, Hepatitis C & Syphilis Testing, Tetanus Shots & Flu Shots (seasonal) 1st Thursday of each month

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MEMBERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES Membership and contributions enhance Compass’ funded programs by providing financial resources for community center activities and special events held outside of the scope of our funded, direct service programs.

MEMBERSHIP LEVELS __ __ __ __ __ __ __

$35 $100 $250 $750 $1,500 $2,500 $5,000

Member Supporter Community Advocacy Legacy Leader Vitality

Name:____________________________________________ Phone Number:___________________Birthday __________ Email Address: ____________________________________ Billing Address: ____________________________________ City:______________________ State:_____ Zip:_________ Name as you would like it to appear in all published materials, plaques and signs: _________________________________________________ I would like to remain anonymous I am interested in quarterly or monthly payments, please contact me to set that up.

METHOD OF PAYMENT Checks enclosed payable to Compass Visa | MasterCard | Discover | American Express Card #:______________________________Exp: _ _ / _ _ Signature:_____________________ CCV Code: _________ Mail completed form to: Compass | Attn: Membership 201 N. Dixie Hwy. Lake Worth, FL 33460 Questions? 561.533.9699 or compass@compassglcc.com




COMPASS COMMUNITY CENTER 201 North Dixie Highway Lake Worth, FL 33460 Phone 561.533.9699 | Fax 561.586.0635 Compassglcc.com | Compass@Compassglcc.com

HOURS OF OPERATIONS Community Center Hours Monday - Thursday 10 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. Fridays 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturdays 2 p.m. - 6 p.m. David Bohnett CyberCenter Hours Monday - Thursday 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Fridays 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Rapid HIV Testing Hours Mondays & Thursdays 4 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays 1 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. First Thursday of the month the Department of Health provides Hepatitis A & B Vaccinations, Hepatitis C & Syphilis Testing, Tetanus Shots & Flu Shots (seasonal)

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Profile for South Florida Gay News

Compass Directions Fall 2015  

Compass quarterly newsletter

Compass Directions Fall 2015  

Compass quarterly newsletter